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Abbas to Arab MKs: We Seek Peace with Israel

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose party's logo shows all of Israel as Palestine, claims he seeks peace with the Jewish State.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/31/2012, 12:16 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party's new logo shows all of Israel as Palestine, claimed on Sunday that he seeks peace with the Jewish State.

Abbas, who met with Arab MKs Mohammad Barakeh and Said Nafaa, said that the "Palestinian people" are striving for peace in accordance with the decisions of international institutions and seek to establish an independent Palestinian state within the 1949 armistice line with its capital in Jerusalem.

Abbas said that the PA Arabs desire peace and want to have a "partner who believes in peace." He added that the Palestinian aspiration is to establish a state alongside Israel.

The most important achievement of achieving the status of a non-member observer state at the United Nations, Abbas told the MKs, is that the status of the land was changed from the status of "disputed territory" to "land that is under occupation", and in the significant change in the international attitude towards the issue of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Abbas also claimed that "settlements" are illegal, in particular in what he called "Occupied Al-Quds", adding that Israel's recently approved construction plans are meant to divide Judea and Samaria into two parts.

He said the PA would not agree to Israel's new construction plans under any circumstances and intend to turn to the international community over the construction, particularly the UN Security Council.

Since 2009 Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.

Abbas is demanding that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Even when Israel imposed a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table, he refused, choosing instead to impose more preconditions.

Last week he threatened that he will disband the PA unless there is Israeli movement toward renewing peace talks after Israel's elections on January 22.

Abbas said that if such a situation arises he will hand full responsibility for Judea and Samaria to the Israeli government.

"If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu," he said.

"I'll tell him...Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority."

Officials in the PA have also threatened to take action against Israel if Netanyahu wins re-election in January.

A senior official in the PA said that if Netanyahu wins another term in office, the entity would take a series of measure in order to isolate Israel, including filing a complaint against Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

Besides going to the International Criminal Court, the PA is also examining the options of holding huge demonstrations against Israel in Judea and Samaria, ending the security cooperation with the IDF and demanding that the international community impose sanctions on Israel.